I write this blogpost in France. Im publishing it now because I've got no Internet access here. This holiday and time away has taught me some things; the books I've read, the time I've spent away from the internet and technology and the things I've thought and talked about have had an effect on me.
Firstly, the books: 'Beauty Queens' has taught me that it's okay to be feminine and be a feminist - its okay to like a guy but it's also okay to always be yourself and stand for what you want to stand for. Libba Bray has also taught me that some of the practises we have are just plain stupid. 'Girl Parts' has also shown me how silly some of our practises are, tout also that you need to be patient about things and let things grow and progress. Oh, and robots are people too. 'Life of Pi' has shown me that you shape yourself, it's okay to be curious and animals are wonderful things (I've not finished it yet). 'The Disenchantments' has taught me to love and appreciate music and adventure that little bit more - and that there's no use in pining in silence. 'The Night Circus' has taught me to believe in magic and to embrace the more interesting and daring sides to life... To push the boat out. Sherman Alexi showed me that its okay to have feelings, it's okay to be funny and perhaps not fit in, and to go to places that scare you if it means you can become better. It's also okay to be scared. 'Alice Biss' reminded me to appreciate my family. 'Sarah's Key' reminded me of the bad things that happen and have happened in this world and how close they are. One of the camps Rosnay spoke of was a handprint on a map away from where we were staying. Markus Zusak showed me that things are far more complex than they seem, sometimes the message isn't always clear and that you should do the right thing. Always.
The Internet and other communication technology are a big part of my life. Here I am, around 600 miles from home and I'm writing a blogpost (on my iPad of all things) to post on the Internet. The first thing we did at each stop was search for wifi - but is it really connecting us to the world or pulling us away from it? Away from the internet I've realised who I miss the most, who I want to talk to and share things with, who I don't so much. I've been alerted to how pointless 'status' and 'walls' are - people need to stop hiding behind a monitor and talk to each other. I do not deny the brilliance of the Internet though - some of the people I miss talking to most are those I've been able to meet due to the Internet (Jess, Gabriella, Amber, Lucy, Joe, Freya, Beth.... The list is long!) and sometimes those status updates and tweets aren't so pointless. They are lovely, wonderful and meaningful.
I've also been talking a lot about university and such things. I'm going to be seeing more of the country and making big decisions over the next year or so, it's scary! It also happens to be bloody exciting and fun to talk about too though.
I leave you with this image: a family walking around a castle, the castle used in Merlin to be exact, they're admiring the stone. The dad touches it then knocks on it. It's plastic. Friend, sometimes things are definitely not what they seem!